China is a growing mammalwatching destination, in fact in recent years Sichuan has become one of the top mammalwatching destinations to add to it’s great reputation in the bird watching circuit. But it is not just Sichuan that is home to some great wildlife, in the last few years (pre-covid) a province north of Sichuan was becoming the place to go to see wild snow leopards and also a range of Tibetan Plateau wildlife which is easier to see than the more traditional destinations deep into Tibet. This province is Qinghai and Royle Safaris is pioneering the first small group tours to this province focusing on mammals and in particular cats.

We have a great past track record with our local guides in seeing numerous snow leopards, Pallas’s cats and more recently Eurasian lynxes. These amazing cat species are major targets but so are other rare mammals which are specialists in these high altitude grasslands and rocky landscapes such as Tibetan wolves, kiang, wild yak, Tibetan gazelles and Tibetan antelopes as well as many more species.

All of this whilst China is not necessarily thought of as a country full of pristine ecosystems and safari holidays, however Royle Safaris  is proving that this idea is incorrect. There are many places in China that are full of wildlife and there are many incredible ecosystems that can be explored; this tour explores one of the least visited in the world, not just China.

This Tibetan mammal tour will visit the Tibetan Plateau and associated mountainous ecosystems of the Chinese province, Qinghai. This rugged and sparsely populated area is home to large numbers of iconic and endangered species such as snow leopards, wild yak, Tibetan antelope, Himalayan brown bear, Tibetan wolves among many others.

Over the last decade or so the snow leopard has gone from a species which was deemed impossible to see in the wild, to an animal which is now regularly encountered. This is mostly done in the wonderful Himalayan national park of Hemis in Ladakh India. Having been at the forefront of the eco-tourism in Ladakh and specifically for snow leopards since 2010 Royle Safaris is looking for other areas which offer similar or better snow leopard sightings. This is down to two reasons; the first is wanting to spread ecotourism around to other areas which are in need of it and also to reduce the human impact on the fragile Himalayan ecosystem of Hemis National Park (due to unregulated tourism and increasing numbers of people visiting during the winter months). This search for another reliable snow leopard location led us to explore the Tibetan Plateau and finding our locations in Qinghai.

For the last 2-3 years the sightings of snow leopards here have steadily increased and an average of numerous sightings per trip has resulted in us organising this specific high altitude mammal watching tour. We are very confident that the snow leopard sightings and regularity of the sightings here is at least what it is in Ladakh. But in addition to the snow leopards this itinerary visits areas which are very good for Tibetan antelope, wild yak, Alpine musk deer, white-lipped deer, Tibetan wolves, Tibetan foxes, kiang and other mammal species of the Tibetan Plateau. But we also have found quite reliable locations for Himalayan brown bear and even Eurasian lynx in recent months.

Hemis National Park, Ladakh, March 2014

You will be experiencing rural China and technically Tibetan culture and everything from the food, culture, architecture you will encounter will differ from the typical Chinese imagery that most people have when they thing of the superpower that China is nowadays and the ultra-modern cities.

This is a unique tour that explores part of China that are rarely visited, to get a good idea of what to expect we recommend you read through the below information. We have outlined a detailed itinerary for the entire trip. However due to weather conditions the route and activities may vary once we get there, although we will endeavour to stick to the stated itinerary as much as possible.
All in all we believe that this tour offers a fantastic overview of the Tibetan Plateau and the wildlife that inhabits the ‘roof of the world’.

This specialist rare wildlife tour is one of our range of wildlife watching tours to China we are world leaders in these specialist mammalwatching holidays, with expert guides and more time spent looking for targeted species than other tours, Royle Safaris is ideally situated to maximise mammal sightings and with our scientific background we are at the cutting edge of rare and elusive mammal sightings and can establish sustainable ecotourism in some of the best rare mammal watching destinations in the world.

If you would like to know more information about this Qinghai Mammalwatching Tour you can click here or contact us in addition to booking places on our small group tour we can also arrange private tours for any party size from 1 person on a solo trip to 10,  people on dates you choose (subject to availability).

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